Ex-Ocala City Hall employee charged with stealing charity funds

Maria Lynn Tomlin

A former Ocala City Hall employee is being accused of failing to donate the money she collected from co-workers for the March of Dimes.

Maria Lynn Tomlin, 34, of Ocala was charged Thursday with grand theft of between $300 and $5,000. The city’s human resources director told an Ocala Police officer on Aug. 19 that Tomlin turned in her two-week notice after being asked to take a drug test and was told she didn’t need to come back to work to fulfill the notice, according to the OPD report.

The director said when Tomlin’s desk was cleaned out, 23 checks made out to the March of Dimes were found in a drawer. He said Tomlin was in charge of collecting money for the charity’s fundraisers. The oldest check was dated Dec. 20, 2018, while the most recent was dated April 17, 2019. Most of the checks were for the dress down fundraiser that ended June 19, which was the deadline to turn in the funds raised, the report said.

The director performed an investigation that revealed only $289.50 had been turned into the March of Dimes so far in 2019. He said they participate in the fundraiser each year and, over the last five years, the office’s donations averaged $1,790. The director said all the payments submitted so far this year were submitted online, and there were several people who gave cash whose donations were not turned in, according to the report.

The director said the office has participated in four fundraisers for the March of Dimes: dress down Thursday, chocolate bar sales, Valentine candygrams, and a March for Babies walk. He provided a spreadsheet of the amounts raised in each campaign, which totaled $2,521.50 in cash that was never turned in to the charity, the report said.

Tomlin was arrested Thursday and taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was released Friday on $2,000 bond. No court date has been set.